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CSR Standards, Reporting and Transparency

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laurence Vigneau


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This paper explores the role of reporting as part of the new global governance framework for sustainability through an analysis of the specific influence of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of CSR reports (following the GRI guidelines) to reflect firms’ CSR strategy and practices. This study contributes to a growing body of research the reporting-performance gap by comparing a firm’s CSR practices based on primary data (longitudinal qualitative case study) and secondary data (CSR reports and website) perspectives. The findings show that the report does not reflect the firm’s actual practices on the issues of transparency (value of information disclosed) and consistency (coherence between the CSR strategy and practices as well as between CSR activities). By assessing the gaps between claims and actual CSR practice, the paper explores the role of transparency in CSR and sheds new light on the dualities in reporting between normative and pragmatic conceptualizations of CSR; objectivity and subjectivity in reporting; as well as symbolic and substantive CSR implementation. Through this discussion, the paper contributes to the debates on the role of reporting as a process of self-regulation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vigneau L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 31st EGOS Colloquium

Year of Conference: 2015